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23rd Jan 2019

Study reports that 79% of the public agree with tougher drink-driving laws

Carl Kinsella

Drink driving

An overwhelming response.

A “nationally representative” survey of 1001 people carried out by insights firm iReach has found that people in Ireland agree strongly with the Gardaí clamping down on drink driving. The research found that the tougher laws are backed by an enormous 79% of respondents.

Late last year, new legislation was introduced that increased the minimum punishment for drink-driving. If convicted of drink-driving, a motorist now faces an automatic penalty of three months off the roads, rather than penalty points.

According to the study, just 5% of people in Ireland own a breathalyser. 61% say they don’t own a breathalyser because they don’t need one, a further 20% don’t own one as they don’t drink with 15% who say that breathalysers are too expensive.

The study follows a warning issued today by Drinkaware, which advised drivers against using off-the-shelf breathalysers. The not-for-profit organisation has noted that store-bought breathalysers do not make use of the same technology employed by An Garda Síochána.

Drinkaware further noted a sharp increase in queries they’ve received about these breathalysers, and 9% of iReach respondents have said they intend to purchase one.

The surge follows a suggestion by Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae that the government should supply every household in the country with same breathalyser devices as used by the Gardaí. Only 28% of iReach’s respondents expressed support for this idea.

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